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Pictured is Bobby Messett, innocent victim of the Bray Boxing Club shooting.
bobby messett

Boxing club shooting: Bray gardaí believe they lack a vital piece of evidence

Six weeks on from the fatal attack, gardaí believe they still lack some important info.

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE murder of Bobby Messett at Bray Boxing Club earlier this year are making “slow but steady” progress but believe there is someone out there who has information which could result in the innocent father’s killer being brought to justice.

Gardaí in Bray have drawn up a list of people of interest who they believe could have potentially carried out the June attack which left Messett (50) dead and injured two others including boxing coach Pete Taylor, who runs the club.

Following Taylor’s release from hospital, he travelled to Belfast before returning to Wicklow. He has been told by gardaí that his life was at risk.

Gardaí are investigating whether Taylor was the target of the shooting, and are still trying to establish a definitive motive for the attack.

Officers working the case believe that they have not yet received all the evidence they need – including photos and videos taken by people at the gym and those outside it in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

They have asked people who were there on the morning of the shooting to provide them with those phone photos and clips.

They believe a number of people also know the identity of the killer.


Gardaí have widened the scope of their investigation and are probing whether it may have been commissioned due to an unpaid debt owed by someone who frequented the gym, rather than in response to a personal grudge. Officers had been investigating the latter in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Another avenue of investigation is that a gunman linked to a deceased associate of the Kinahan cartel was the person who pulled the trigger. This theory is being investigated with the help of national units.

Gardaí are also investigated if this shooting was anything to do with the Kinahan/Hutch feud. Taylor has previously trained boxers linked to MTK Global, a boxing management company part-founded by drug trafficker Daniel Kinahan.

A statement released by MTK earlier this year said it had “cut all ties with Mr Kinahan in February 2017″.

There is no suggestion Pete Taylor is involved in any form of criminality.

Around the time of the shooting, gardaí had been carrying out surveillance on a number of people they suspected of moving significant quantities of cocaine across north Wicklow and south Dublin.

Detectives are also probing the activities of a convicted killer who has started to operate in the drug trade locally. The man is also believed to be involved in a violent debt collection business.

There is no suggestion that anyone present at the time of the shooting was, in any way, involved in any form of criminal activity.

Separately, the family of Bobby Messett last week launched a petition in a bid to keep the boxing club closed due to safety concerns.

Their message on social media read:

This petition has been set up to keep Bray Boxing Club closed until the garda investigation is complete. This has been requested by the family of the late Bobby Messett, in the interest of public safety.
Five weeks ago Bobby was murdered in Bray boxing gym. We know that he was not the target of this attack and until the garda investigation is completed we feel it is not a safe place for any member of the public to be at this time. We feel it should be reopened after the investigation as it is a community facility , but for now we believe it is not safe.

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